Adolescent Perceptions of School Safety: The Role of Delinquent Peers and Television Media in a Post-Columbine Sample

Christine A. Eith, University of Delaware
Carol R. Gregory, University of Delaware
Erin Farley, University of Delaware

School violence is a topic that has many Americans talking. Over the past few years academics, practitioners, and policy makers have been debating issues on how to maintain safe schools. While there are official reports showing a reduction in the number of weapons carried to school, there is still a substantial fear among students and teachers that violence may occur. This is not surprising since the television media is saturated with images of violent children and incidence of school violence. These images have the potential to create a "mean world" effect on the viewers, namely those young people who go to school everyday. Therefore, this study focuses on the perception of school safety by fifth and sixth graders in several Midewestern schools. These students were surveyed to determine how safe they feel in their schools, as well as those social, environmental, and familial factors that might contribute to their perceptions.

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Updated 05/20/2006